Ball bounces right way in Brandywine victory

Published 7:19 am Monday, October 3, 2016

You can say it anyway to you want to: “that’s the way the cookie crumbles,” “that’s the way the mop flops” or the more popular “that’s the way the ball bounces.”

It does not matter to the Brandywine Bobcats, who came away with a 22-14 win over New Buffalo on homecoming.

All of these are sayings to describe the fact that you can’t control everything that happens to you, but when things happen, you can control how you respond.

The Bobcats took advantage of a few bounces that went their way Friday night, knocking off the visiting Bison.

“We got some breaks tonight,” Brandywine coach Mike Nate said. “But we made those breaks because we played hard. Sometimes the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

The first of the bounces to go the way of the home team came with just under seven minutes to play in the third quarter and Brandywine facing a fourth-and-45 from their own 45-yard line and the game tied 8-8.

The Bobcats’ Nathan Kemp dropped back to punt and hit one nearly 30 yards that came down on the leg of a Bison player and was recovered by the Bobcats resulting in a first down for Brandywine at the Bison 35-yard line.

A few plays later, quarterback Corbin Eckenburger connected on one of his only completions of the night to a wide-open Jordan Abrams who punched it in for the score. A two-point conversion pass to Kemp gave the Bobcats a 16-8 lead.

The Bison would take no time at all getting back into the game following a long touchdown run and an unsuccessful 2-point try, leaving them trailing Brandywine 16-14.

Two more bounces would go the way of the Bobcats on consecutive plays with the game still 16-14 with just over three minutes left to play.

Eckenburger appeared to be sacked around the 30-yard line where the ball would be fumbled and returned all the way to the end zone briefly giving the visitors the lead.

The play however was ruled dead making it fourth down for the Bobcats. Once again Kemp would drop back to punt and once again his punt would bounce off the leg of a Bison player giving Brandywine another first down.

Following an unsportsmanlike penalty, Brandywine was in business, first-and-10 from the New Buffalo 20-yard line.

This time it only took the Bobcats one play as Dillon Plew rumbled 20-yards for the touchdown making the score 22-14.

The Bobcats went from what appeared to be a fumble returned for a touchdown for New Buffalo and a 20-16 deficit to a 20-yard touchdown scamper and a 22-14 lead with just 3:23 remaining.

Plew would sack the Bison quarterback on the first play from scrimmage forcing a fumble that Jacob Douglass would recover and the Bobcats were back in business.

A Bobcat fumble gave the ball right back and it was up to the defense to protect the lead.

Once again it was Plew coming up huge with another quarterback sack setting up the Bison for a fourth and long. That pass would fall incomplete and the Eckenburger could just take a knee and run out the clock preserving the victory.

“It was a total team win tonight,” Nate said. “We played hard, both offensively and defensively.”

The victory ended a three game losing streak for the Bobcats bringing their record to 2-4.

“Some people were calling us dead in the water, but we aren’t dead yet,” Nate said. “We are 2-4, but if we can win out I believe we can get into the playoffs at 5-4 because Bridgman and Buchanan can be worth a lot of points but we have to get by River Valley first.”

The Bobcats will host River Valley Friday night hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive.



At Brandywine High School

B – Dillon Plew 4 run (Corbin Eckenburger run).

NB – Andrew Coffeen 1 run (Jordan Cluster kick).

B – Jordan Abrams 22 pass from Eckenburger (Nathan Kemp pass from Eckengerger).

NB – Nigel Durham 81 run (pass failed).

B – Plew 20 run (run failed).

Varsity records: New Buffalo 3-3, Brandywine 2-4.